Conclusions from IFLA Europe New European Bauhaus Conference ‘Places’ 11 June 2022 Brussels
New European Bauhaus Festival – IFLA Europe Conference Brussels Saturday 11th June 2022
Reconnecting with Nature - Landscape architects at the forefront of the sustainable and creative urban transformation
IFLA Europe organised Saturday 11 June 2022 a European Conference on the topic of “Reconnecting with Nature - Landscape architects at the forefront of the sustainable and creative urban transformation” as a part of the New European Bauhaus Festival in Brussels.
The hybrid conference, with over 100 participants (in person and online), was organised in cooperation with the Architecture Faculty of Free Brussels University ULB, Brussels Perspective, ABAJP BVTL and the CIVA (Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage). On behalf of IFLA Europe, we would like to thank the partners and sponsors of this event.
Landscape Architects together with associated disciplines can make the difference in the context of building resilient and sustainable cities. During the conference, solutions of reconnecting with nature in our social and ecological systems, urban landscapes, fighting against environmental crises towards a more intact and resilient urban nature for a better future of our citizens were demonstrated.
Keynote speaker Henri Bava, FFP France President, explained the important role of landscape in protecting our cities, including how to preserve the living soil as a key resource. Keynote speaker Stefan Werner, Copenhagen, demonstrated how water management connected to open space projects is crucial, and how cities can prepare to reduce flood damages. A multidisciplinary approach is the key to success, and landscape visualisations are the best tool for convincing decision-makers. Nature is spectacular by itself; we should embrace our cultural heritage but design future solutions together. Katerina Gkoltsiou, IFLA Europe President, reminded us about the role of landscape architects in Europe, and their value for the European environment and quality of life. Ann Voets and Hicham Karkouch, both representatives of ABAJP-BVTL, Belgian National Association of Garden and Landscape Architects, indicated the importance of historic landscapes, their tradition and heritage, also for solving actual problems, as well as brownfields as reservoirs of biodiversity and habitats: here there is a need to change the vocabulary, talking about urban oases and not building potentials. Peter Löffler, European Commission DG Climate, mentioned the global warming as a challenge for European cities, and the several EU programmes such as Green Deal, Climate Cities, to achieve smarter and more adaptive cities. He emphasised the role of landscape architects as key players in implementing the EU Agenda such as the EU Green Deal. Ben Stringer, architect researcher representing ARENA, focused on productive landscapes and the question of scale in our landscapes.
The roundtable, moderated by Haris Piplas, member of IFLA Europe NEB Working Group, with Björn Bracke, Kollektif Landscape Studio, Indra Purs LAAA Latvia/City of Riga, Ann Voets, Hicham Karkouch, Ursula Wieser, CIVA and Eva Jenikova, Delegate of Czech Republic National Association of Landscape Architectes, discussed essential points of the future of sustainable and creative urban transformation, such as the political and social dimension of the landscape creation, the management of adaptive capacity of transformation, the symbiotic relationship between buildings, land and nature. Green concepts for our cities are necessary, and landscape architects have considerable responsibilities – and abilities - in achieving these urban transformations, at all decision-making levels. More landscape architects are needed for these tasks than are currently being trained at European universities.
Full recording of the Conference available: https://youtu.be/py4hs_kluss
The conference closed with a guided tour on the Place Flagey done by Björn Bracke, author of its future landscape redesign. Next event related to Reconnecting with Nature - Landscape architects at the forefront of the sustainable and creative urban transformation will take place on Monday 27 June 4.00-5.30 PM CEST during the
World Urban Forum of UN-Habitat in Katowice.